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Airly brings silver lining to Defra’s cloud

Following the disappointing news that Defra has withdrawn funding for the latest round of Local Air Quality Grants, the air quality instrumentation company Airly has announced two cost-free offers that it hopes will allow councils to make progress on their air quality monitoring programs.

This year a number of local authorities had been informed that their air quality project applications were successful, but they recently learned that this year’s funding, around £6 million, has been withdrawn. 

From air quality monitoring outside of schools, to retro-fitting old buses, these projects have increased air quality awareness and lowered pollution levels, improving and extending the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the UK since 1997.

Airly’s Dimal Luta explains: ‘These Defra funds provide a much-needed opportunity to address a specific air quality issue, underpinned by continuous monitoring data. As such these projects enable local authorities to exploit the latest developments in MCERTS approved cost-effective monitoring technologies. We very much hope, therefore, that the withdrawal of these funds will be temporary, because for many councils, they provide essential funds for a critically important issue.’

Both of Airly’s offers to local authorities are cost-free and apply for 12 months. ‘Firstly, we have 20 instruments measuring PM2.5, PM10 (MCERTS certified) and NO2 – available to any of those councils affected by this year’s decision,’ Dimal says.

‘Secondly, we are offering every single authority in the UK one of our certified sensors (measuring PM 1, PM 2.5, and PM 10) for 12 months to use on any project, so that they can collect as much real-time, hyper-local data as possible to help mitigate and fight pollution over the next year,’ he adds.

Air quality monitoring performs a vital role in helping local authorities to: identify pollution hotspots; identify pollution sources; design improvement measures; inform sustainable development; measure the success of mitigation, and inform the public. For example, Airly currently has operational air quality monitoring networks with local authorities such as Lambeth, Southampton, Birmingham, Northampton, Bedford etc.

Airly’s offer was first announced via LinkedIn and Dimal says: ’30 local authorities have already reserved sensors and over 50 others have expressed an interest in doing so. The offers are available on a first-come/ first-served basis, and interested councils should email me (d.luta@airly.org) as soon as possible.’

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